Future Weather is seriously good drama about a thirteen-year-old
girl who is abandoned by her mother and is taken in by her grandmother,
disrupting both their lives.
The opening scene shows
Tanya (Marin Ireland) fooling around with her boyfriend in a car. When she gets
home (with the boyfriend), she goes into her daughter’s room to check on her.
Her daughter, Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine), is already in bed, though still
awake. These two seemingly simple scenes are excellent in setting up these
characters and giving us an idea of the relationship without any obvious
exposition. I love that Tanya is introduced as a carefree girlfriend before
being shown as a mom, because of course that is the order she thinks of
herself. Her priorities are clear right from the beginning.
Though it still comes as
a shock when Lauduree gets home from school to find that her mother has moved
out and gone to California (taking most everything with her, and leaving
Lauduree fifty dollars “for food and
other things”). A note tells Lauduree that her mom is following her “dream of becoming a makeup artist for the
stars.” You get the sense Lauduree has been taking care of herself quite a
bit already anyway, but even so, this is huge punch to take.
The note instructs Lauduree to call her grandmother, but
Lauduree at first tells no one what has happened. Though after a while, Greta
(Amy Madigan), arrives to check on her daughter and granddaughter, and Lauduree
is forced to tell her the truth. Greta
tells her she can’t live alone, that she has to come stay with her. And that
won’t be the only change in the teenager’s life, for Greta is moving to Florida
to live with her longtime boyfriend Ed (William Sadler) as soon as her house
The other adult in
Lauduree’s life is Ms. Markovi (Lili Taylor), her science teacher.
Environmental issues are important to Lauduree and she turns in a paper saying,
“solutions for global warming must be
researched now - we’re at the tipping point.” She’s concerned with the
preservation of the world, while her immediate personal world is clearly in
Lauduree’s only friend is
Neel (Anubhav Jain), a somewhat awkward boy who has just moved to town and is the only other
student in Ms. Markovi’s science club. The
science club stuff isn’t quite as compelling as Lauduree’s home situation. The
kids and Ms. Markovi interview random people about local animals. And the people
say how they haven’t seen certain animals in a long time, obviously an
environmental message about how species are disappearing. The message is an
important one, but it feels a bit forced. Likewise, the scene where Lauduree
lectures neighbors about the environment doesn’t quite work. But those scenes
are the exceptions. The movie over all is really good, with well-developed
This film boasts excellent (and sometimes stunningly
good) performances all round. Perla Haney-Jardine gives a remarkable
performance as Lauduree. The film really
depends on her character being believable, and we are with her every step of
the way. Amy Madigan is phenomenal as Greta. She is definitely not the typical
sweet grandmother character that one might imagine being portrayed. In fact,
when she first shows up at Lauduree’s house, she’s kind of frightening. This
woman is damaged herself, and you really wonder if she’ll be able to take care
of Lauduree any better than Tanya did.
And though she’s only in a few scenes, Marin Ireland
really turns in a good performance as Tanya. Because of her performance, even
though she abandoned her daughter, you can’t help but feel some sympathy for
Tanya. You want her to get it together, for her own sake as well as for the
sake of her child. And William Sadler, an actor I always enjoy seeing, does a
great job as Ed, a man who truly loves Greta and because of her, does his best to
connect with Lauduree.
Future Weather was written and directed by Jenny Deller. This is
Deller’s first feature-length film.
The DVD has a few bonus
features. There are two deleted scenes, the first of which shows Lauduree and
Neel staging a small protest, and the second being a nice scene with Lauduree
and Ed in which she asks him if there are any freshwater mollusks in Florida.
This DVD also includes
the short film Save The Future, which
was written and directed by Jenny Deller. It stars Perla Haney-Jardine as
Laduree (yes, a different spelling of the character’s name). This three-minute
film really focuses on the environmental message, and is narrated by Laduree.
She surveys random people, asking “What
does the future mean to you?” She then turns to the camera and says this
was a public service announcement “from
your daughter.” As you might guess, this is handled in a much more
heavy-handed manner than the feature was.
The bonus features also
include the film’s trailer.
Future Weather is scheduled to be released on April 16, 2013
through Virgil Films.